It takes a village to run a portal on all things ebooks and econtent. And this village needs to constantly grow. Currently, the portal is managed by Mirela Roncevic, professional editor, writer, and ebook and digital content expert with a long history in publishing and libraries. And a bunch of other individuals are helping along the way, regularly or on occasion.
Many years ago, NSR functioned as a blog managed solely by Sue Polanka, an academic librarian from Wright State University (OH), who was instrumental in transforming the coverage of ebooks in libraries. The blog quickly became THE site on all things ebooks for librarians of all walks of life: public, school, and academic. During this time, Mirela was covering ebooks and econtent for Library Journal. As fate would have it, the two women would meet at an ALA conference (in Anaheim, CA, if memory serves) and the rest would become history.
Sue and Mirela would eventually join forces on several initiatives: write/edit a book together on e-reference, co-edit a quarterly journal for ALA, and collaborate on keeping No Shelf Required the source of trusted reporting on all things ebooks and econtent.
Sue remains a contributor to NSR, while Mirela continues to expand its coverage in all sorts of directions. Mirela is also the founder of The Free Reading Zones Project, which aims to bring publishers, innovators and sponsors together to turn public and private spaces into open virtual libraries (as small as single buildings and as large as entire cities and countries). In her op-ed “Free to Read” pieces, Mirela sheds light on the many ways in which ebooks and digital content in general can help democratize access to the written word and create new opportunities for all in the book ecosystem, including publishers, librarians, authors, readers, educators, and others.
What once was a blog ‘housed’ at Wright State University in Ohio is now a portal covering ebook and econtent views and news not just in the United States but around the world and serving as a repository of not just press releases but, far more importantly, reviews, opinion pieces by industry insiders, and promotions of initiatives raising awareness of the benefits of ebooks and digital literacy inside and beyond the confines of libraries and institutions of learning.
As NSR continues to expand its horizons, new contributors and partners come on board, including Michael Rogers, a regular columnist for NSR (see his column This week in Literature and Arts) who also reviews audiobooks and other media; Ari Sigal, who reviews free resources online in his weekly Free Content Alert posts (he is also the resident librarian and helps all other contributors to NSR with their research), Francisca Goldsmith, an audiobook columnist and advocate for audio literacy who contributes opinion pieces on the importance of Reading by Ear; and Peyton Stafford, a publishing industry veteran with 30 years of experience working with libraries and library vendors as well as consulting independent authors, who makes weekly journeys into the world at the intersection of indie authorship and libraries in his column Indies in the Library.
NSR is also in an exclusive partnership with BlueInk Review and highlights reviews of independently published ebooks, selected for NSR by BlueInk editors each Wednesday.
In 2016, NSR expanded its mission to inspire professionals inside the book and library industry to do more with ebooks and econtent outside libraries and other institutions and embarked on groundbreaking projects (in cooperation with vendors and various partners) that challenge what we think is possible with ebooks. In December 2016, NSR sponsored the world’s first attempt to turn an entire country into an open virtual library (see Lessons from Croatia Reads). NSR is also in a long-standing partnership with ALA to host webinars, ebook classes, and publish reports on the present and future of the books and digital content.
NSR’s goal is to educate and inspire all who work with books and knowledge. If you are interested in partnering with us by co-producing NSR’s published content, which reaches ebook and digital content professionals around the world, or to join forces with NSR to launch groundbreaking ebook and econtent initiatives (such as to participate in The Free Reading Zones Project as a library, vendor catering to libraries, or publisher), please contact NSR Director Mirela Roncevic at firstname.lastname@example.org.